After talks at highest levels, Ashkhabad and Ankara can unite in delivering Turkmen gas to Europe

After talks at highest levels, Ashkhabad and Ankara can unite in delivering Turkmen gas to Europe

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Nov. 11 /Trend, G.Hasanov/

Soon in the city of Turkmenbashi, the presidents of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Turkey Abdullah Gul will discuss the question of unification of efforts to ensure the export of Turkmen gas to Europe, according to experts.

"It assumes a strategic importance for two friendly Turkic-speaking countries," said the economist, who requested to stay anonym.
According to him, with hopes of gaining an access to Turkmen gas, Ankara is ready for any options, whether it's 'Nabucco' - via the seabed, or the compression of natural gas for its transportation by tankers through the Caspian Sea or through Iran," he said, adding that Turkey has long been ready for the role of a key transit country for Caspian energy to European markets.

One of the Western observers, working in the Turkmen projects, said that already in mid-1990s, Ankara and Ashgabat studied the project to export Turkmen gas to Turkey and Europe: two alternative routes through Iran or through the Caspian Sea via Azerbaijan were considered. Then, the feasibility study of the project was devised by the Shell Company.

Over recent weeks, Turkmenistan - one of the key suppliers of natural gas in the Caspian region, began talking about the European direction. This became especially evident from the statement of the Foreign Ministry, which said that the "Turkmen side has entered into several agreements with major European companies, who show themselves as a reliable, fair and predictable partner, including in the energy sphere."

At the same time, the European Union Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, who participated in Ashgabat Gas Congress in April 2010, said that work is conducted with Turkmenistan on documents on the Nabucco project. According to him, the parties have agreed to form working groups.

Nabucco gas pipeline project worth 7.9 billion euro will deliver gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to the EU. Its maximum capacity is 31 billion cubic meters per year. Project participants are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE (the latter company is already working in the Turkmen part of the Caspian Sea within the PSA).
Experts believe that as the "resource of supply" for Nabucco, Turkmenistan is interesting not only for potential consumers in Europe and Turkey, but also for Azerbaijan, on which, particularly due to the Shah-Deniz field, the consortium members will count in the short-term outlook.

Official Baku will be able to get the currency for the traffic on a long-term basis. As known, now the Turkmen gas is actively and successfully transported through Azerbaijan.
If to talk about the Nabucco, it is obvious that after confirmation of its supply by Turkmen resources, the technical parameters of the project will change - it will need to lay additional pipe through the Caspian Sea - and the area, which belongs to two Caspian states.

At one of his meetings with Berdymukhamedov in Ashgabat the head of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev said: "Azerbaijan fully supports the initiative of Turkmenistan, and shares its approach to addressing global energy security and serving the development of mutually advantageous partnership in the global energy space".

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